Land Rover is claiming a new lap record for a production SUV on the renowned 20.8 km (13 mile) Nordschleife circuit at the Nürburgring in Germany, with its Range Rover Sport SVR completing the circuit in just 8 minutes and 14 seconds. If verified, this time is equal to one set by a BMW Alpina B3 Biturbo Coupé in December of 2008, and represents a mighty fast lap time for any car, let alone an SUV.
Debuted at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in June this year, the Range Rover Sport SVR runs an upgraded version of Land Rover's standard 5.0-liter supercharged V8 engine that has been fine-tuned to output 550 PS (542 hp). With a 40 PS (39 hp) increase over the existing V8 supercharged version and handling characteristics sharpened for the Nürburgring Nordschleife, the SVR engineering team were on a mission to wring out the vehicle's sports potential.
"The Nürburgring is a benchmark for vehicle development and testing, and cars become stronger, more durable and faster over its 13 miles (20 km) and 70-plus corners," said Mike Cross, Chief Engineer Vehicle Integrity. "We wanted to see whether an SUV could behave like a performance car in this challenging environment. The results are spectacular and the Range Rover Sport SVR has demonstrated outstanding on-road performance capabilities."
Which, given that it beat an unofficial lap time of 8 minutes 24 seconds set by a BMW X6 M, sounds a bit like gloating, as well as something like a challenge to the upcoming turbocharged W12 powered Bentley SUV to try to do better.
To achieve its unofficial record, Jaguar Land Rover's Special Vehicle Operations team are claiming to have produced the most performance-focused Range Rover Sport ever and, judging by the apparent improvement work and claimed capabilities, this seems to have been achieved.
At the same time, the team also says that it has not compromised the SVR's all-terrain capabilities (a twin-speed transfer case provides high and low gear ratios and the vehicle has the same 850 mm wading depth as other Range Rover Sport models), or the high levels of comfort of the original vehicle.
The Range Rover Sport SVR will arrive in Land Rover showrooms around the world sometime in 2015. Pricing is yet to be announced.
The video below shows the Range Rover Sport SVR strutting its stuff on the Nürburgring.
Source: Jaguar Land Rover